Thread: What a "god"?
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #21
jason taylor
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: What a "god"?

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
This IS a gaming oriented question; a spinoff from the Loki question. What can the gods be in a game?

1. Purely imaginary gods. Any magic or miracles they seem to grant are applications of arcane magic just like that of the wizards (although they may have "secret spells" that make them seem special), or even advanced technology (which is a relative term. Flash powder is advanced to the right audience)

2. Gods which are products of belief made real by magic. That may mean they can be reshaped by memetic means, or belief may just be their genesis and if people's beliefs about a god were significantly changed, you might end up with two rival gods with the same name with the one no longer believed in beginning to fade unless he can find people to believe in the "real" him. Note however that worship may be primarily important as a method of instilling belief. Strong belief in entities who are not worshipped would also bring them into existence producing boogeymen, demons, and anything generally imagined.

3. Gods who are objectively real entities with supernatural superpowers and no dependence on human belief or worship, possibly with some role in making the world work the way it does. They may or may not like being worshipped, but when they help people, it's like a human rescuing a puppy whining for help. They get no benefit apart from the pleasure of being kind (or cruel). There may be equivalent entities, just as powerful and only not gods in that they have no fanclub. They do not have "spellcasting" clerics (except as before wizards with a religious bent), but may sometimes listen to requests for help. When they feel like it.

4. Gods who are objectively real entities with supernatural superpowers and possibly some role in making the world the way it does. However, they can get _more_ power and possibly an advantage over their rivals by drawing on the worship of supports which lends them magic power.

5. Gods who are abstract and elemental concepts given spontaneous form. They are powerful or weak as their concepts and elements are powerful or weak. Worship matters less than the strength of the concept. Pray for peace but make war, and the war god will be strong and the one you pray to will be weak.
Aren't most gods cosmic judges and nobles? Mythologies don't seem to focus just on the power(norse giants were as powerful as gods) but on the role.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
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